A philosopher whose name is long forgotten remarked, “A man is not a fool because he knows nothing about some things that affect him. He is the greatest fool of all if he remains ignorant intentionally.”
Will Rogers commented that “everyone is ignorant only on different subjects.”
Mark Twain said, “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubts.”
The topic of today’s column is the tea party. What it is. What it is not. What they do. Who is involved. I will tell you from my own experience with local groups and local people. In the process, I will try to help folks understand so that they will no longer be ignorant (unless they want to be) and will not make fools of themselves (unless that is their desire).
First of all, the tea party is not an organization or political party. It is more of an idea that has caught fire with people who love their country passionately, people who are willing to stand up for America. Others have used the tea party name to cash in on its popularity. Tea party this and tea party that. They are hangers-on.
The central ideas behind tea party are: America should have a limited government based on the powers enumerated in the Constitution; that government should spend the people’s money wisely; and that citizens should be free to succeed and prosper without undue government interference. Each tea party group is independent. It may cooperate with others, but each sets its own agenda. Each pays its own way from member donation or fundraisers. There are no corporate sponsorships.
Our two local tea party groups are the Solano Tea Party Patriots, which meets at 6 p.m. the first Monday of every month at the Benicia Grill II in Fairfield. Doris Robinson, the original president and moving force died recently. A new leader is being selected. The second local group is the VacaValley Tea Party Patriots, which meets at 6 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month at Pietro’s No. 2 in Vacaville. This group is headed by another powerhouse, Colleen Britton. Colleen is a retired teacher. Very creative.
Before I tell you about some recent programs, you should be warned: If you are uncomfortable being with people who love their country and may be vocal about it, you should prepare to be uncomfortable when you go to a meeting. These are passionate American patriots. What have some of the recent programs been about? A couple told of life in Libya before al-Qaida took control. They told about fleeing from radical Islamic terrorists. These are real people with real experiences.
Several programs were about Common Core, the national educational dumb-down standards. The hosts from the San Francisco talk radio show “The Patriot and Preacher” explored the history and relationship of faith to America’s government. Agenda 21, the globalization of America and the world, was another topic. Still another was voter IDs and achieving honest elections. There have been presentations by candidates for various offices, so those in attendance could see what the candidates had to offer.
There is always plenty of notice so you can go to meetings that will interest you. The fellowship is great. Reports on current happenings make every meeting of interest.
The negative comments about tea party generally have their beginnings in the false, politically correct idea that tea party groups are the arm of extreme right corporate radicals. This is just not true. The politically correct propaganda has been somewhat effective in creating a false image, which uninformed folks are fooled by. Tea party groups are genuine, grassroots, patriotic Americans. They are and can be a great resource for genuine American patriot candidates.
If you think you have been fooled by the propaganda, go to a meeting. Listen and ask questions. If you prefer to remain in the dark, stay home on meeting nights.
Murray Bass can be reached at 427-0744 or firstname.lastname@example.org.